- "Four months ago, off coast of English colony name of Virginia, we saw smoke of burning. We sail to investigate. Nothing left but a burning ship, and wreckage in water. Only living thing was cabin boy clutching an oar, floating on water. Child told us he escaped death only by burrowing under bodies of slain. Pah! These cowards, they not pirates, but butchers!"
- ―Borya Palachnik to assembled pirates at Shipwreck Cove
In the Month of May of 1607, a colony from England, consisting of one hundred and five persons, arrived in Virginia; and on a peninsula in James river, began a settlement, which they called Jamestown. This was the first permanent settlement effected by the English in the New World.
The first settlement of Virginia was commenced under the auspices of the London Company. The expedition was commanded by Captain Christopher Newport; but the government of the colony was framed in England, before it even sailed. The original intention of the colony was to form a settlement at Roanoke; but, being driven by a violent storm north of that place, they discovered the entrance of Chesapeake Bay (Maryland), the capes of which they named Charles and Henry. Entering this, they at length reached a convenient spot upon which to commence a settlement.
The colony, thus commenced, soon experienced a variety of calamities, incidental, perhaps, to infant settlements, but not the less painful and discouraging. Inefficiency and a want of harmony marked the proceedings of the council. Provisions were scarce, and of a poor quality. The neighboring tribes of Indians became jealous and hostile; and, more than all, sickness spread among them, and carried a large proportion of their number to an early grave.
The condition of the colony, however, was, at length, somewhat improved, with the arrival of provisions from England, and an additional number of men. Early in the year 1609, the London Company, not having realized their anticipated profit from their new establishment in America, obtained from the king a new charter, with more ample privileges. Under this charter, Thomas West, otherwise called Lord De la War, was appointed governor for life. The company under their new act of incorporation, was styled as "The Treasurer and Company of Adventurers and Planters for the First Colony in Virginia."
The ill health obliged Lord De la War, in March, 1611, to leave the administration. He was succeeded by Sir Thomas Dale, who arrived in May. In 1620, the colony received a large accession to their number. Eleven ships arrived, with twelve hundred and sixty settlers. In the same year, slaveholding was introduced into the colony. A Dutch ship from Africa, touching at Jamestown, landed twenty Africans for sale. These were purchased by the planters; and slavery was thus introduced into the country.
In 1624 , the London Company, which had settled Virginia, was dissolved by an act of King James I, under pretext of the calamities which had befallen the colony, and the dissensions which had agitated the company. Their charter was taken away, and the government of the colony assumed by the crown.
In 1639 the king appointed Sir William Berkley as the governor, with instructions to allow the Virginians to elect representatives. For this privilege they were so grateful, that they continued faithful to the royal cause, even after Oliver Cromwell had usurped the government. This loyalty brought upon them the vengeance of Parliament, in 1652, at which time a fleet was dispatched to reduce then to submission. At this time Governor Berkley was obliged to retire. In 1679, some time after the death of Berkley, Lord Culpepper came over as governor, with certain laws prepared in conformity to the wishes of the ministry of England, and designed to be enacted by the assembly in Virginia.
In 1710, Alexander Spotswood was appointed Lieutenant Governor of Virginia, under the nominal governorship of George Hamilton, 1st Earl of Orkney. In the fall of 1718 , Spotswood engaged in a clandestine expedition by privately hiring two sloops, Jane and Ranger, and a number of Royal Navy men to seek out the pirate Blackbeard. Spotswood issued a proclamation at the Assembly in Williamsburg offering reward of 100 pounds for any who brought Teach and the other pirates to justice. Lieutenant Robert Maynard fought with Blackbeard and his men at Ocracoke Inlet, and though they ended his reign of terror, Blackbeard managed to escape.
Behind the ScenesEdit
- In real-world history, Blackbeard was killed in the battle at Ocracoke Inlet.
- The Price of Freedom (First mentioned)
- Colony of Virginia on Wikipedia